Collective Effervescence and other things

Today is exceptionally hot in my study. So I see it as an opportune time to share a poem from 2021 that I posted on a day much like this one.

The poem is a favourite, and I linked it to its online home.

The poem

Any Morning

Just lying on the couch and being happy.
Only humming a little, the quiet sound in the head.
Trouble is busy elsewhere at the moment, it has
so much to do in the world.

People who might judge are mostly asleep; they can’t
monitor you all the time, and sometimes they forget.
When dawn flows over the hedge you can
get up and act busy.

Little corners like this, pieces of Heaven
left lying around, can be picked up and saved.
People won’t even see that you have them,
they are so light and easy to hide.

Later in the day you can act like the others.
You can shake your head. You can frown.

By William Stafford

Collective Effervescence

I love this description that a friend recently sent to me. However, I have not been able to track down the exact quote. I do know that there is an entire chapter on the subject in Dacher Keltner’s book AWE, so for now that is the best I can do. If any of you have seen this quote with attribution, please let me know so I can correct it here.

“Collective effervescence is the feeling of energy and harmony when people are engaged in a shared purpose. It is a joie de vivre that manifests when we share moments with others, such as being in a stadium that erupts in simultaneous applause or when a musician returns for an encore performance.”

Coincidentally, I will be in a stadium on Sunday night with several members of my family, a place you would rarely find me. But this quote gave me a new insight as to what these events are all about and I am looking at it with new eyes.

A note or two from Oliver Sacks, great neurologist and beloved human:

“I cannot say exactly how nature exerts its calming and organizing effects on our brains, but I have seen in my patients the restorative and healing powers of nature and gardens, even for those who are deeply disabled neurologically. In many cases, gardens and nature are more powerful than any medication.”

Dr Sacks loved swimming and was often inspired as well as calmed while he did laps. I discovered this tiny -less than a minute – animation of one swimming story, and it makes me laugh out loud every time I watch it. I hope Oliver Sacks’ friends will enjoy it, and if you don’t know him yet, you may decide to read some of his writing.

At the Lake


1:) Japanese friends hiking in June. Always showing up enjoying their adventures and being kind to others. That is my experience.

2:) “I know now, after 50 years, that the finding/losing, forgetting/remembering, leaving/returning, never stops. The whole of life is about another chance, and while we are alive, till the very end, there is ALWAYS another chance. Jeanette Winterson from her book Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? (I haven’t read this book but James Clear frequently quotes her and I like his newsletter.)

2:) It is wonderful to be alive and still standing this summer. The trip for gelato last Thursday was a great success and we will do it again at the end of August. Bookending the holiday time with Cassis Gelato. Yum!

3:) I will be travelling across the country on Friday for my son’s 54th Birthday. Many celebratory events are waiting in the wings this summer for their special time. It is always such a joy for me to return to the west coast, even though it is a short visit. One summer, I will hopefully go for a month and get to see all of my loved ones.

4:) May you have idyllic and lazy days in between all the summer activities and fun. A hammock someplace has your name on it. I deeply appreciate you taking the time to stop by here. Warmest wishes, and see you next week. Trudy


12 replies
  1. Wendy Kurchak
    Wendy Kurchak says:

    Hi Trudy,
    If asked to describe the day in my life which was absolutely FUN and included excitement and a sense of well-being in the world, it would be a day which involved collective effervescence; it was a soccer match between Bayern Munchen and Dortmund at the Alliance stadium in Munich during Oktoberfest about 10 years ago.
    Sitting amidst the Bayern Munchen fans, drinking one mere beer, standing with everyone else to belt out some victory song when “our” team scored, and not having a clue what most of the (German-speaking)people around me were yelling at the field…I was euphoric!
    I’ve never really understood why I had such a powerful experience until just now reading your blog about collective effervescence- THAT was the key!
    Enjoy yourself at the stadium…perhaps there will be victory songs!

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Oh Wendy: what a great commentary on this topic. I can imagine what it must have been like for you. I am even more excited now to go to my event. I will let you know!! Thanks so much for telling us this story. It was made to order. Big hugs. Trudy

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Hi Janet. I don’t know that book or the author but will look it up. Thanks for telling us about it. Warmly, Trudy

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Thank you dear Janice. I appreciate your well wishes and look forward to meeting your precious little one. Hugs, Trudy

  2. Emma Rooney
    Emma Rooney says:

    I love the Oliver Sacks animation… Now I know what to do the next time I have writer’s blog… Start swimming!
    Miss seeing you regularly Trudy, but always sending much love your way.

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Thank you dear Emma. I am delighted that you too love that animation. I miss your gatherings too and had hoped to get there today. It will happen again. Gentle hugs, Trudy

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Hi dear Kathryn. Thank you for your concern. It will be in Canada. Vancouver to be precise. Most of the time we manage restraint with our exuberance but not always.I am expecting family friendly. 😊🩵warmly, Trudy

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Thank you dearest Jean. I apologize for this very slow reply. I am having a wonderful time on the coast. I so love the air and the ocean and the flowers and the people. You get the picture. Warmest wishes, Trudy


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *